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Ragtime - Coalhouse Demands





 

Artist: Ragtime
Album: Musical/Ost
Title: Coalhouse Demands


NEWSBOY #1
Extra! Arsonist destroys Emerald Isle Engine Company!

NEWSBOY #2
Negro gunman shoots three dead!

NEWSBOY #3
Extra! Terror stalks New Rochelle! Murderer's demands revealed!

COALHOUSE
One--that my car be returned to me in its original condition.
Two--that the white excrescence known as Fire Chief Will Conklin,
the one who instigated this crime, be turned over to me for my justice.
Nothing less, nothing more.

ALL
Somewhere in the city
There's a madman waiting
Standing in the shadows
With a gun in his hands
A man of colour
Who is calmly stating:
Coalhouse demands!
Coalhouse demands!

NEW ROCHELLE MEN, WOMEN
He demands!

HARLEM MEN, WOMEN
He demands!
Coalhouse demands!

NEW ROCHELLE MEN
Who is he to demand?

HARLEM MEN, WOMEN
He demands!

NEW ROCHELLE WOMEN, MEN & NEWSBOYS
He demands!

NEWSBOYS (shouting)
Killer Negro demands!

HARLEM MEN, WOMEN
About time a black man demanded!

ALL
He calls Conklin the white excrescence...

THE LITTLE BOY
What's excrescence?

FATHER
Edgar, go to your room!

MOTHER
Three firemen were killed. One of them was Mrs. Gallagher's nephew.
Six more were badly injured when the boiler exploded.

THE LITTLE BOY
And one of them will be dead by tonight. It was Coalhouse, wasn't it?

FATHER
I said, go to your room.

MOTHER
Edgar.


GRANDFATHER
I told you we hadn't heard the last of that Negro.

ALL
Coalhouse demands

HARLEM MEN (COALHOUSES'S MEN), YOUNGER BROTHER
It's an eye for an eye--
Call it justice, friend

HARLEM WOMEN, SARAH'S FRIEND
People's lives for a car ain't justice
An eye for an eye, that ain't!

FIREMEN
He wants Willie Conklin.

CONKLIN
Willie Conklin!
He even misspelled my name.
Wouldn't you know it!
With a "K"!
He can't take a joke, now can he
Sensitive, ain't he?
Does he think only niggers get shit?
We Irish had to get used to it!

FIREMAN
You goddamned, gutless Mick, look what you got us into!

WILLIE
You're gonna protect me, ain't ya?
Hide me, ain't ya?

FIREMAN
Get out of town, Will, before they kill us all!

COALHOUSE'S MEN
What they did to you,
What they took from you,
We are one with you.
Now the world will know
There are Negroes out there
To make them listen!
We're all Coalhouse!

REPORTER #1
Do you have a statement for us, Mr. Washington?

REPORTER #2
What do you think of these Negro renegades, Mr. Washington?

BOOKER T. WASHINGTON
For the sum of my life
I have lived in hope
We might all be Christian brothers
I have worked to persuade
Every white-skinned man
That he need not fear our race

I deplore Mr.
Walker's actions, and the irreparable harm he has done to my people.
And I wish that I might tell him face to face.

HARLEM WOMEN (Group 1) Not one of oursNever heard of him
We don't want any trouble Not one of ours HARLEM
WOMEN (Group 2)
Not one of ours Never heard of him Don't want any trouble Not one of ours

ALL HARLEM WOMEN
Don't know anything
(to each other) And I wouldn't tell those peckerwoods
Even if I did!

GROUP 1: No one knows what he looks like.
No one knows where he is. No one knows how to stop him...Somewhere
in the city there's a madman waiting, standing in the shadows with a gun in his hand!

ALL:
A man of colour Who is calmly stating Coalhouse demands
Somewhere in the city Coalhouse!

CONKLIN, OTHERS: Somewhere in the city, waiting in the dark. Stop him!

CONKLIN, GROUP 2: Somewhere in the city, standing in the shadows.

COALHOUSE & HIS MEN:
We'll play them the music of something beginning!
An era exploding, a century spinning--Listen to that Ragtime!



 

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